Yesterday the doctors decided to put Grandpa Don on home hospice. Even though his condition has been bad for a while, that label hit all of us pretty hard. At first I was in a place where the cheery holiday songs where a hard discord to the reality of our life right now. Then I sort of had a talk with myself and decided that I needed an attitude adjustment. Being upset and unhappy was not helpful to any of us, especially me. Instead, I stepped back, took a few deep breaths and decided that I needed to find the positives in our situation. And so I find myself thankful. I find that this difficult emotional place has also given me some gifts. It is a gift to witness the kindness, the nurturing and the genuine love my two children exhibit for their grandfather. Each of them doing it in their own equally important ways. What a gift it is to be able to stand back and witness who they are as adults, separate from ourselves and the many strings we have attached to each other. What a gift it is to be able to be truly conscious of the time we have left to be with Don, to take in who he is, how he has enriched our lives and how parts of him will live on in each of us. What a gift it is to have a chance to have so many of our friends and his friends come forth with their own stories of thanks for how he has enriched their lives. What a gift it is to have a chance at having closure. I don't know if we are near the end, but either way I am thankful for all of those things and more.
I have also made a point of slowing down enough to notice the small joys that are easy to miss. I went to Whole Foods yesterday and was enveloped in the smell of Rosemary as I went by the displays of little Rosemary trees they well this time of year in the produce department. They stacked them in such a way as to make them look like a larger tree. The fragrance lingered as I picked up what I needed.
Outside the Allegro Coffee Company had its Flxbus parked out front. The festive crew was handing out free beverages and Christmas stockings they purchased to support a coop in Kenya. There cheer was genuine and warming both inside and out.
Perhaps you can find them in your area.
Once I was back home I made a nice, simple meal for Ethan. He was so exhausted from having been at the hospital until about 4 a.m. He just needed some time to relax and soak in some of the love you can only get at home. I made a lovely grilled cheese sandwich and paired it with really lovely tomato soup. I used a fresh sourdough boulle and cotswold cheese (similar to cheddar, but more smooth, embedded with chives). I also served up his favorite rootbeer. He was so hungry that he had two large sandwiches. Tummy satisfied, we watched a bit of television together befor he had to return home to Grandpa Don's house since he was going home.